Archive for ‘Crafts’

February 12th, 2011

Repurposed Crayons – Valentine’s Day Craft Project

I’ve quietly been stashing broken crayons… I would stash some here and there and today I decided it was as good time to repurpose them! And for what better reason than for a Valentine’s Day gift for my little guys!

The boys headed upstairs for a nap, and I got to work, peeling paper off of my stash of discarded crayons. What a way to quickly wreck your nails… I currently have red wax compacted under my nail bed of my left thumb. So far compacted that it isn’t coming out and currently kinda hurts. Anyways. I peeled and then roughly broke up the crayons into pieces no bigger than 3/4 of an inch long I did my best to not pulverize the crayons because I wanted big chucks of color in each new crayon.

I lightly sprayed my silicone heart shaped tray with Pam and filled each heart with crayon bits. Be sure to fill them full and a little over with crayon because the wax will settle as it melts and you want your mold to be as full as possible without overflowing. Once full I popped it in the oven for 12 minutes at 275 degrees. My oven ALWAYS seems to need an extra bit of time than what recipes usually call for so start checking on these things around the 10 minute mark. If your crayons are JUST starting to be melty don’t wait too long to come back because once they hit that melting point they quickly can turn into a mess.

Thankfully we didn’t have any trouble with colors running and everything stayed in place but I can see how if I would have let them go even for one more minute I would have had a disaster on my hands.

Once they are melted, be prepared to put them somewhere to cool in the molds. I stuck mine out on the back porch for about 15-20 minutes to cool completely before I popped them out of their little heart shaped molds.

I can’t wait to give these to them on Monday! I know they are going to enjoy them and honestly I think I’m going to have fun with them too!

January 19th, 2011

Salvation Army Fabric Sale

The Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania has announced the date of this years annual fabric sale!  It will be April 2, 2011 at the South Park Home Economics Building from 9 am – 2 pm!  I’ve attended this sale a few times in the last few years and it is always a fun morning!  Lots of fabric, lots of patterns and LOTS of notions!  I think the notions are always my favorite part of the sale!  I love me some buttons!

This year, the Salvation Army has created a helpful pdf with details! And they recently added a Twitter account too, I’m following them a  @SalArmyPGH!

Check out posts from my past experiences and projects that I’ve made from fabric and goodies from the sales:

Fabric Sale Review 1 & Fabric Sale Review 2

Sewing Space Accessories

Smashing Smock

New Bag

To find photos of the goodies I acquired at the past Fabric sales I went to check out my Flickr!

December 15th, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things – Part 4

Do you have any favorites that only come out once a year around the holidays? Favorite decorations or favorite traditions? I’m going to write about a few of my Christmas favorites in a few posts in the upcoming weeks. See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Not every single one of my favorite things is something that has emotional attachment or will make the parent in you tear up a bit… Nope, this one in fact is something that doesn’t get packed up with the Christmas decorations, no this one lives in my all purpose kitchen gadget drawer all year long! The unfortunate part, it only sees the light of day if one of my kids pulls it out to play with or if I’m making Christmas cookies or the RARE batch of wedding cookies (really that’s a rare occasion).

Today’s featured item is my cookie scooper!!!! TaDaa!

This is an oxo brand 2 tsp cookie scooper given to me by my mom’s friend Sandy at my wedding shower along with stackable cooling racks and other baking items from my registry. ETA: (thanks Elizabeth!) This gift also included a ziplock bag of recipe cards of Sandy’s favorite cookie recipes too – how cool is that?! This particular item was not something I registered for and upon opening it exclaimed “Ooh a Melon Baller!” then someone politely whispered “it’s a cookie scooper for when you, you know, bake cookies.” LOL

Needless to say, since that day, baking cookies has been quite a treat! This little kitchen gadget is AWESOME! I use it for every single drop cookie I bake and it keeps them perfectly uniform in size! AND it’s WAY less messy than using regular table spoons. So there you have it, one of my favorite things is a melon baller! Err I mean a cookie scooper!

December 14th, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things – Part 3

Today’s item is a NEWER item. It was brought home from preschool from Max last year and it was immediately hung on the tree.

This is the first of my collection of handmade ornaments that will be displayed on our tree through the years! I was SOOOO excited to receive it and Max was sooo proud that he had made it!

Do you have any favorite handmade ornaments? Do you hang them on your tree?

December 9th, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Christmas Things – Part 2

Do you have any favorites that only come out once a year around the holidays? Favorite decorations or favorite traditions? I’m going to write about a few of my Christmas favorites in a few posts in the upcoming weeks. See Part 1 here.

Part 2 of this session features two items. A small stuffed heart.

And a small table top tablecloth.

These two items were made by my crafty cousin Rhonda. Rhonda has an Etsy shop called Sunda Rose and wow does she have some mad skillz with a sewing machine! Anyways, you’ll notice the fabric is the same on both items…. the fabric she used was given to her by my mom. The holiday fabric with the pine cones and candelabras belonged to my grandmother and Rhonda’s plan was to make a few holiday items using the fabric so that we all could have a little bit of grandma’s holiday tablecloth.

This tablecloth was on my grandmothers kitchen table every.single.Christmas. OH god, i’m going to cry….. sorry mom… sure you are too.

When I was little, we used to travel to upstate New York to spend Christmas with my mom’s side of our family. My parents would stash wrapped Christmas gifts from Santa in the trunk along with luggage for the four of us and all our kid crap and then we would pile in the car for a 7 hour drive. We were babies and toddlers and it seemed to ALWAYS snow. We’re talking BAD snow… snow belt snow… white out snow… there were lots of white knuckles and no music and stress from my parents during those rides. But once we got there! Wow, that place really knew how to celebrate Christmas!

My memories are of a place that was snowy, Christmas lights were everywhere, Grandma Lena and Poppy Tony really decorated every inch of the place. It was idyllic really and looking back it probably wasn’t all that sparkly but when you’re six and your world consists of where you are that that very moment and that’s it, it was pretty darn awesome. There was family everywhere, cousins and card games and lots and lots of love. Their kitchen table always had this tablecloth on top of it. I remember the piles of pizzelles and thumb prints, rum balls and hard tack candy. Everything was always on a pretty dish and they had a permanent spot on this table during the holiday. The adults always played card games in the evenings, when they weren’t playing cards we all sat around the table and would chit chat. Even though I was a kid, I always wanted to be listening to the adults talk, I sat there too.

That’s why these two items are part of my favorite Christmas things. They bring back some special memories from a time where footy jammies, ribbons in my hair, Christmas dresses and trains under the tree were at the top of my favorites list.

December 7th, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Christmas Things – Part 1

Do you have any favorites that only come out once a year around the holidays? Favorite decorations or favorite traditions? I’m going to write about a few of my Christmas favorites in a few posts in the upcoming weeks. Today I’m starting with Photo Cards!

Yep, Photo Cards are one of my favorite Christmas things! I just love to receive them. I happen to be of an age where MOST of my friends have small children like we do and most of them choose to feature their adorable children on their annual Christmas card. Some families choose to have special holiday photos taken for their card, others use photos from vacation and others use random snapshots from throughout the year. I love them all because I love to see how much each family changes each year. As you can see below we get quite a few photo cards. We even receive them from families that no longer have small children at home and we love those too! Do you see yourself or your kids below? Isn’t everyone so cute!?

In years past we have used photos from our visit with Santa and each year they turn out cuter than the last! (in my opinion of course *wink*) All except for last year because Andy was petrified of Santa, so we opted to take a photo later that day in their matching sweaters at my parents home. This year though, we’re back to the Santa visit for our card! I can’t wait to have my cards printed this year!

In years past we’ve given MANY photo related gifts. Last year we made them calendars featuring photos of the kids throughout the year. We used and they were a HUGE hit! I’ve also used to make prints and small albums too! We gave those to the grandparents with the calendars and they LOVED them!

We’ll be using this year for our Christmas cards! Their designs and layouts are so adorable and creative! They offer different paper options, folded or flat card options, many sizes to choose from and lots and lots of personalization. I like to keep things simple and feature only one photo on our cards but they have layouts that can include more than 3 photos too! There is something for everyone!

If you aren’t the kind of person to send Christmas cards they have lots of other card options for other occasions too! Their wedding announcements are VERY beautiful as are their birth announcements!

Stay tuned, the next part in this series features a repurposed tablecloth.

Disclaimer: I wrote about, mentioned and linked to because of an awesome deal they are offering to bloggers, in return I will receive 50 free Christmas cards. Please know, my opinions and experiences mentioned above are 100% my own as usual! If you are interested in taking advantage of this great opportunity you can apply to do so too by following this link:

April 30th, 2010

How to Make a Toddler Belt

This project was really seriously the easiest craft project that I’ve done in quite some time.  It’s almost not even blog worthy….  But to step back for a minute, I figured why not share it.  It might inspire someone else to make their kid a belt.  OR maybe even make one for yourself (which btw is on my list of things to do).

How to make a Toddler Belt.  I purchased 1 yard of belt material from Joann’s.  This particular print features turtles!  They had a few other prints, cute fish and something pink and of course the nostalgic rainbow flavor that it seems we all had as kids in the late 70′s/early 80′s! 

So with two little guys in the house, I decided 1 yard of belting and 1 pack of D rings (they come 4 in a pack) would be sufficient.  To make the belts I cut the yard in half, rolled one end and stitched it down.  placed the D rings on the other end, folded the end under and machine stitched it down.  Seriously folks, each belt was made in under 2 minutes. 

Both kids like them.  I will admit they are a little difficult for the boys to use and we had one bathroom accident occur because of the belt.  They do in fact hold up their pants so I’m happy about that!  And they love the little swimming turtles – you can see in this photo one of them is doing the back stroke – which just cracks me up!

As for future use of this project.  “I” happen to need a belt too.  I however do not need rainbows and turtles in my wardrobe so I’m planning on purchasing some plain cotton webbing and enough ribbon to stitch onto side one and up the tail end (inside) by about 6-8 inches.  So that when the belt is on the inside part of the tail that folds over and is now exposed has some fancy ribbon on it too.  Look for photos of that project in a few weeks.

Do you have a diy project to share? Share it at A Soft Place to Land to win!

March 24th, 2010

Sewing Space Accessories

I have been coveting a few things for my sewing space for a while.  Each time I take a trip to Joann’s I say to myself or to Chris, or to whoever is in ear shot…  ‘Someday, I will have one of those for MY lovely spools of thread to be displayed upon.  Someday….’

Well, that someday has arrived!  Please welcome my new thread stand:

I know most of us have a strange affinity to office organizational items and office supplies (right? we all get a little giddy when we get to organize  our paper clips and pencils… right?  Oh just me? ok, never mind…) well this crosses the streams of Office organizational item for CRAFTY stuffs!  As my 3 year old would say, “How COOL! Mama!  How COOL!!!”  My overall assessment of the stand is, well, I need more thread. LOL  But really, isn’t it pretty?

Also, if you look at the photo, you’ll see another organizational item, that would be a brand new button case!  Yes, I HAVE a button case!

You have no idea how much fun I had organizing my thread and my buttons by color of course! A friend joked if they were sorted by “Alpha” or by “Rainbow”.  The thread is by rainbow, the buttons aren’t.  I think I’ll have more button organizing to do after the Salvation Army Fabric Sale in April!  Can’t WAIT to check out the notions table this year!

March 22nd, 2010

Spring Craft Projects

With the new Spring season arriving this past weekend, I wanted to share a few craft projects that I’ve done in for Spring in the past! 

Knit Easter Chicks were a big hit last year, they are very easy to knit up too! Even though Easter is less than two weeks way, you still have time to knit some of these adorable finger puppets up!

If you’re more into sewing (like I have been recently….) take a look at another set of finger puppets!  This link just came across my desk this morning and they are just too cute not to share.  Again, courtesy of the

Thinking about sewing a cute summery shirt for yourself? Check out Smashing by Anna Marie Horner and found in her book Seams to Me.  Here is my post about her pattern for Smashing. I’m going to attempt this shirt again soon.

Are you looking for a new bag to carry for the Spring?  Or do you need a gift for a mother in your life? Check out the free pattern for Buttercup bag by Made by Rae.  Here is my post about the Buttercup bag that I made for my sister in law’s birthday. 

Happy Spring Everyone!

February 16th, 2010

Salvation Army Annual Fabric Sale

I am pleased to announced the details for the Annual Salvation Army Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Auxiliary Fabric Sale!  As usual, they will have fabric, yarn, notions and books.  As in years past, they will provide each attendee with a large bag for your new found stash! Join me on Saturday, April 10, 2010 from 9am – 2pm in the Home Economics Building in South Park.

In preparation for the sale they are of course taking donations for the sale.  They accept those at their Greentree facility Monday – Friday from 10am – 3pm. There are also individual auxiliary members in all areas of the region who are more than happy to receive your donations. Contact the Salvation Army by calling 412.466.1500 they are more than happy to direct you to one of those lovely ladies.  I learned that if you donate fabric to a Salvation Army Thrift Stores in the area, those donations are not set aside for the Annual Fabric Sale but instead they are sold in that particular store.

Are you interested in volunteering for the Fabric Sale? Volunteers from the women’s auxiliary meet every Wednesday from 9am – 1:30pm at their facility in Greentree (Map to the volunteer center: it is directly across the street from the Salvation Army emergency vehicle depot).  The volunteers are there to sort, fold and price all donated items.  Volunteers are of course welcome to join!

In case you wish to read more, here is my post about the 21st Annual Fabric Sale.

See you at the Fabric Fair!